Explore the most popular dogs on leash trails in San Juan National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

nature trips
1 day ago

Short, simple, beautiful. And the water was cold but great! Recommend shoes with good ankle support because even though it’s easy, there was a lot of loose rock. Also to get all the way to the trailhead will require decent clearance on your car.

If you’re looking for the trailhead in google maps, it’s called Potato Lake, not spud lake.

hiking
3 days ago

I was very excited about this trail, especially after all the fantastic reviews. The campground is perfect. We had a spot all to ourselves right next to the river after the bridge. A wonderful way to spend the evenings.

We got up early to start the hike and had no trouble finding it and heading in. That said, once we really got into it, it was fairly treacherous with all the fallen trees. Almost every step for about 3/4 of the hike was climbing over and under the fallen trees. I imagine later in the summer, once they've cleared it, it would be an amazing hike. But in May, no bueno.

It appeared that people had gone through and broken limbs off trees to make it 'easier' however, because they left loads of nubs, it made it harder to avoid the inevitable scrapes and scratches.

I finally found the hot springs, and while a beautiful spot, definitely not that hot. And in my opinion, not worth all the very hard work to get there.

All this said, I LOVED THE CAMPGROUND and could easily wile away the hours near that river. On a side note, we didn't see any wild life, which was kind of strange.

We hiked this trail two days ago and it was still in the same condition as about a month ago. There are A LOT of downed trees so if you are going to try to make it start early in the day. We added about an hour each way compared to our usual pace. We had our large dog with us and she was able to make it. There is a lot of over and under trees however so just know that ahead or time. Also pay attention to the trail directions. The turns are hard to see with all the downed trees! Pay attention. That being said, we found the hot springs and had it all to ourselves. The risk was worth the reward!

hiking
8 days ago

Still has some deep snowbanks that make navigating the trail difficult but should melt in a few weeks. Getting to the trailhead requires 4 Wheel Drive but the road is mostly dry. Overall a lovely hike!

on Opal Lake Trail

hiking
9 days ago

This is a beautiful trail. When there is average snowfall the road will not open until the first week of June, however it is already open for 2018. Parts of the trail are a bit steep, overall it is not too difficult. The trail is 1/2 mile to the lake. You are at about 9,500 feet in elevation.

hiking
10 days ago

Great easy trail, the first portion is kind of steep but opens into a patch of aspen trees. Very easy and the lake is beautiful. Bring big spray, lots of mosquitos near the lake.

hiking
13 days ago

Loved this trail! Perfect if you’re looking for a simple day-hike. Only negative is the trail isn’t marked very well, in my opinion. We will definitely be back.

hiking
13 days ago

Hiked this trail on 5/9, absolutely amazing hike! The hike there is beautiful and then of course the lake itself is almost surreal.

Great trail! We didn't make it to the lakes. There was still snow on the trail.

hiking
15 days ago

The trail runs along the road through a meadow for about the first two miles, so you can easily lop 4 miles off the total distance just by driving further down the road before you start. There are lots of trails through the meadow.

You cross private property for 2/3 mile, but it's well-marked and trail users have permission as long as they stay on the trail. A bigger issue is the emergency access gate into the Bible camp; the camp belongs to First Baptist Church, so you might want to call ahead and get permission before venturing onto their property. Sometimes they have campers or vacation Bible school up there in the summer.

I had a hard time finding the back end of the loop at the camp; it's not where the GPS map says it is; just follow the road up the ridge when it forks.

Beautiful views, especially from the summit. A few felled trees across the trail, being removed. A couple remaining ice troughs, largely melted. Only a few scattered wild flowers, likely related to drought. Great hike.

Not marked well

hiking
18 days ago

Beautiful. Not that hard pretty easy. Good for the whole family. I saw an older woman with a can walking it. I should say there is a part that has a small walking path next to a cliff not that bad though, there’s enough room that it’s not really bad plus it’s short. (:

No longer a loop unless you’re ok with trespassing. Trails lead right into peoples houses and driveways too. So many better and secluded trails on public land out there

hiking
26 days ago

We decided to see how far we could get on this trail in April knowing that we would probably hit snow at some point. There was less snow this year than usual in Colorado (2018) but we were not able to get to the top in regular hiking shoes (snowshoes definitely would help). We kept falling through the top layer of snow/ice up to our knees/thighs which made trudging on very difficult. We got about 1.5 miles in / 1300 ft up before turning around. The trail was lost to the snow eventually too (used phone GPS and looked for cut logs where the trail would be cleared). It was still very pretty and worthwhile but we'll have to return once the snow is gone. The temperature at the end of April was quite pleasant: just had a hat, some long-sleeve layers on top, and shorts (even in the snow it wasn't that cold).

Trail starts in the corrals! Really pretty incline hike with a nice view at the top. I'll be heading back when the aspens have some leaves.

Very beautiful hike! Intense at times walking in ice and snow at mid day, but well worth it to see the view at the top from the waterfall as well as the lower basin! Was not able to make it to the main ice lake basin due to snow and lack of snow shoes, but we went a little early in the season! We will be coming back in July to see the lakes thawed!

Absolutely stunning and completely empty this time of year (April) . There were a lot of trees down but only one was hard to navigate around. Definitely a favorite!

Hiked this trail this last September. Drove all the way to Mayflower Mine where the trail takes off up the valley. The last quarter mile of the road was difficult (had a Jeep). Would not recommend this for inexperienced drivers.
Loved this hike! I’m 71 years old and found most of the hike quite easy. The most difficult part for me was making my way up the very steep part that gets you in the upper basin. Fixed steel cable and climbing rope makes it much easier, but it made me question if doing this hike alone was wise.
The lake is beautiful and the ruins are fun to explore.

You must take the 637 route not the 633 or you end up at a private locked gate that denied access to the falls. So take care to locate the right route.

hiking
1 month ago

One word: SPECTACULAR!!!

I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!! Great trail difficult with snow and ice in areas but still amazing! We took one trail up and a different one back crossing the creek on top of logs and rocks. It was so quiet and peaceful only seen one other biker. When we reached the falls with it was an amazing site the combination of snow, ice, and rushing water was worth every step. This was my first Colorado hike but won’t be my last. Thank you Colorado

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is NOT open yet. We had to park outside the first gate, which adds 2.5 miles onto your hike each way (bathrooms are still locked at the campground and everything is closed). The trail itself needs some hardcore maintanence to be done which hasn't happened this season yet. We ended up having to go over about 50 to 75 trees, some of which were in rather dangerous locations. Dogs should def not attempt this trail right now. It took us about 4.5 hours to do 11 miles. We ended up not finding the hot springs before it got to dark so we turned around at the river (about 1 mile from the campsite and trail to hot springs). Overall, I would not say this trail is not by any means 'Open' in April, as the trail had stated at this time of attempt.

UPDATE: The description has been updated to accurately reflect a better time of opening.

230 miles of Pure beauty. Start early, as you will want to stop for many pictures and a lunch, weather a picnic or stopping at an eatery. I highly recommend Baked in Telluride. All homemade and very reasonably priced.

An excellent hike and or an overnight x2

Very pretty hike but be prepared to hike in snow knee high at times.

This is probably one of my all time favorite hikes! I suggest getting there early in the morning to avoid crowds and to make sure you give yourself enough time. This is so scenic, everywhere you look is picture perfect! Wear layers, goes from hot to cold quickly. Bring snacks and plenty of water

Beautiful but busy! I left about 7 and made it back by 2. It's a bit of a burner but honestly the water is breathtaking and well worth the work. There were Llamas just chillin by Ice Lake which was random and amazing. I did continue up to Island lake which was awesome as well. People were fishing there and I sat for a good 10 minutes admiring the view. on the way there were quite a few people headed up. A few early morningers met me on the way up.

Good hike but well traveled at times.

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